Q1. What areas do you work in?
Throughout Australia, the Pacific, and South East Asia.
Q2. Are most wine “cellars” below ground?
Strictly speaking, a “cellar” is an underground room, but over recent years the word has been used to describe a room, above or below ground, used for wine storage.
About half of the wine rooms we build are above ground, converting existing space or fitting out new purpose built rooms.
Of the other half, some are built within existing cellars in established homes, or fitted out within basements in newer homes.
For example Project C in our project gallery was built in an unused corner of a below ground garage.
Q3. What are the ideal conditions for storing wines?
You will find more information about this topic elsewhere in this website but basically a wine room should provide:
- temperature within the range of 13°C - 17°C
- slow changes of temperature within this range
- humidity with the range of 50% - 75%
- lack of vibration
- darkness or subdued light
- racking which allows the corks to remain in contact with the wine and designed such that labels are not damaged
Q4. How much wine do most people collect?
We have provided wine rooms with capacities ranging from a few hundred bottles to over 6000 bottles in private collections. Typically our clients’ cellars have a capacity of between one and two thousand bottles.
Q5. How much space is required to store 1500 bottles?
With a mixture of individual bottle racks, diamond and rectangular bins, and other “special” features (eg. magnum and half bottle storage) most wine rooms provide about one hundred bottles per square meter of racking or wall space.
A room about 3.0m by 2.5m with racking to a reachable height of 2m will accommodate about 1700 bottles.
Q6. Apart from the racking itself, what other features do you typically provide?
Often we provide our clients with the following:
- temperature and humidity control, and monitoring equipment
- low temperature lighting
- double glazed doors or glass walls with integral blinds
- dumb waiters (especially when the below ground cellar is accessed via a ladder or steep steps)
- controlled access and security systems
- safes & lockable cabinets
- sounds systems
Q7. Can I have a refrigerator for beer or wine in the cellar?
Yes, but only if the refrigerator has a remote compressor and does not add any heat within the room. Generally it is better to avoid refrigerators (or any other heat generating device for that matter) within the wine room.
Q8. Do all wine rooms require temperature and humidity control equipment?
No, but it depends on many variables. Sometimes ambient conditions in an underground cellar or well insulated above ground wine room provide acceptable temperature and humidity without the need for special equipment.
We suggest before spending a lot of money on control measures that the temperature and humidity be monitored (using data loggers provided by us) over a three to nine month period to determine what, if any, equipment is required.
Q9. Is it expensive to fit out a cellar or wine room?
It depends on the size, capacity, and the features provided, but typically our clients spend $ 20,000 - $ 50,000 on converting existing rooms or fitting out new rooms.
As a guide, furniture quality custom racking generally costs between $8 and $12 per bottle ($800 - $1,200 per square metre), temperature and humidity control equipment $3,000 - $16,000, and mechanical dumb waiters $10,000 - $20,000.
Q10. How do I go about getting more information or a design prepared for my cellar?
If you are in or near Melbourne, we are pleased to come and see you and discuss your ideas. If you are outside Melbourne, we suggest sending plans, sketches, photographs etc as the basis of an initial discussion.
Q11. Do you charge for this initial discussion?
No, but if you then commission us to prepare drawings or a computer model we will charge a fixed fee agreed on in advance. If you eventually proceed to have us build your cellar, the design fee is refunded as a credit towards the construction cost.
Q12. Why do people cellar wines?
For various reasons, but generally our clients have an established or developing interest in wine collecting for the pleasure of drinking it when it is at its best and for the financially sensible reason that well chosen young wines if well looked after will appreciate in value. Some of the collection may be sold progressively to fund the acquisition of more wines.